Corinth Holders High School knows what its football future is – the 4A ranks. And the Pirates’ new head coach brings some experience dealing with the challenges of getting a 3A program to be competitive with 4A schools.
Guy “Bubba” Williams was announced as the new head coach at Johnston County’s largest high school this week. He leaves an Eastern Wayne program that has played in the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A Conference with 4A powers New Bern (the 2014 state 4A champion) and Greenville Rose.
“We just have to continue to work and built a solid football team and program,” Williams said of the impending move from the 3A to the 4A classification for the Pirates in the fall of 2017. “At Eastern Wayne, we had to deal with playing the New Berns, the Roses and South Central in our league. It’s kind of a challenge you have to look forward to. Tougher competition makes you better.”
Williams fills the void left by the retirement of Barry Honeycutt. The Pirates went 9-4 last season, earning their first playoff win and sharing the Two Rivers 3A Conference title.
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Williams comes to Corinth Holders after a six-year stint at Eastern Wayne. His Warrior teams have advanced to the eastern regional championship in each of the past two seasons. He compiled a 38-34 record, including back-to-back 11-3 seasons in 2013-14.
Eastern Wayne had only had one winning season in the previous decade before Williams’ arrival as head coach.
Bubba Williams started his coaching career under his father, Chip Williams, at New Bern after he was a football team captain and earned a Master’s degree at East Carolina. Bubba’s brother, Beau Williams, is the head coach at Jacksonville High School.
Williams said his experience with the Pirate players so far has been akin to watching a combine. He’s seen some tape and seen some of them run and lift in the weight room. “I’m looking forward to when we can get out on the football field,” he said, “and I get the chance to watch and learn what we have here.”
He says the Pirates will use multiple looks on defense and adjust their offensive approach based on the speed and strengths of the players each year. “It’s tough to run the Power-I if you don’t have the talent that fits that scheme,” Williams said.
Interest in the job was very high. Corinth Holders principal Chase Ferrell said the school received 70 applications for the position.
“All of the candidates we talked to knew the x’s and o’s,” Ferrell said. “What separated coach Williams from the rest of the field was his emphasis on our kids being champions on the field, in the classroom and in our community.”
The Guy “Bubba” Williams File
High School: New Bern
College: East Carolina, Undergrad and Masters
Years in High School Coaching: 10
Family: Wife, Meredith; Son, Guy (4); Daughter, Campbell (2)